All posts by jdawesthollywood

Zeiss Oktoberfest Event and Lens Talk

Spherical Aberration f1.5
Example of spherical aberration at f1.5

Ever wonder what spherical aberration is or what it -really- looks like? I’m not using any kind of diffusion filter, this the image produced by a vintage lens at f1.5. To me, it looks like a toy Ad from the ’80’s.

The image above is one of the examples I created for my lens talk, “What Do Cinematographers Really Want in a Lens?” which I’ll be giving today, October 11, as part of Zeiss Cinema Lens Oktoberfest in conjunction with Hot Rod Cameras at our Burbank location 722 N. Mariposa Street, Burbank, CA 91506. The event runs from 3:00 to 6:30 pm.

I’ll be discussing desirable technical an aesthetic qualities in a lens, what all those aberrations really mean, and the challenges that lens designers have to work with. You’ll also get hand-on time with all the latest Carl Zeiss still and cine lenses such as the CP.3, Otus, Milvus, Batis, Loxia and Touit. I hope you’ll join us.

Seating is limited. There will be refreshements AND BBQ! So RSVP now before your spot is gone:

ShareGrid’s Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test


After months of work, ShareGrid’s Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test is online. It’s the one place on the web where you can compare 13 different brands of anamorphic lenses. If you’ve ever tried to test anamorphics, you know how hard it is to put together even two sets for a test.

I performed the technical testing of the lenses (collimator testing for contrast and projection testing).

I’m also in a few of the videos. The one above is the “What is Anamorphic” section.

This project took an enormous amount of work on the part of many people.  It is a very valuable resource for cinematographers and directors.

Click here to go to ShareGrid’s Anamorphic Lens Test main page.

More to come…

CinemaTechnic Supporting P+S Technik Optical Products in U.S.


I’m very pleased to be working with P+S Technik again,  supporting their optical products in the U.S.

Hot Rod Cameras is now a full-line P+S Technik dealer, and CinemaTechnic shall provide service for all P+S optical products.

CinemaTechnic’s relationship with P+S Technik  goes all the way back to 2000, when I began sending ARRI film cameras to P+S for the Evolution conversion.

In 2004 after my first lens service training at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen, I took the A8 Autobahn on a rainy night (at 160 kph!) from Ulm to  P+S Technik in Munich, where I was trained on ARRI film camera service by Peter Eckenweber (pictured above right, I’m on the left).

13 years later I am again training with Peter, this time on the P+S lens rehousings for vintage Angenieux, Bausch & Lomb, Canon FD, Canon K35, Cooke Panchro, Kinoptic, Kowa, Leica-R and Schneider.

From this point on, owners of these rehoused lenses will not have to be concerned with needing to send the lenses all the way to Germany for service. CinemaTechnic will provide full factory authorized service in Burbank, CA.

Kowa Cine Prominar 100mm Anamorphic – P+S Technik Evolution Version – new housing and new glass

The P+S rehousings are of the highest quality. P+S provide the only rehousing service for vintage Angenieux primes, Canon FD primes, Kinoptic primes, and most notably the Kowa Anamorphic primes.

P+S’ Kowa Cine Prominar rehousing are the smallest available, maintaining the original lens’ unique compact form factor, very rare in anamorphic lenses.

If you’re unfamiliar with the P+S lens rehousings, you can see them in person at Hot Rod Cameras


Upcoming Events May-June 2017


Upcoming Events for May – June 2017:

May 20, 2017: Grand Opening Event – CinemaTechnic and Hot Rod Cameras

We invite you to  join us at our Grand Opening event, May 20 from 3:30 to 6:00 pm at our new location: 722 N. Mariposa St., Burbank, CA 91506.

Our event takes place just after the J.L. Fisher 11th Annual Mixer and BBQ Lunch at J.L. Fisher 1000 West Isabel St., Burbank, CA 91506 which takes place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on the same day. We are located within walking distance of J.L. Fisher.

We will be providing overflow parking for the J.L. Fisher event at the Hot Rod Cameras parking lot. You can park with us and take a golf cart ride over to J.L. Fisher, and then back again at the end of the BBQ Lunch for our after-party.

May 27 – 28, 2017: ShareGrid Anamorphic Lens Test

We will be participating in and providing technical support for the ShareGrid Anamorphic Lens Test. This will be the most comprehensive comparison test of anamorphic lenses where the results will be viewable.

June 2-3, 2017: CineGear Expo

Paramount Studios, Hollywood, CA 90038
More information

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

April 2017 Update Part II


2017 has been incredibly busy for me with the build-out of the new workshop in Burbank and the service work and other projects I’m involved in. It has been exciting but exhausting.

So today I’m taking some time off in the Coachella Valley before heading to Las Vegas for a quick tour of NAB. My first full day off since the start of the year!

I wanted to thank Matt and the staff at Duclos Lenses for featuring me in their Top 25 Lens Lovers of Instagram. You can see the blog post here:

I’ll be making the rounds at NAB Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

I’ll be back in the shop on Friday.

-Jorge Diaz-Amador

April 2017 Service Update

CinemaTechnic Clean Room
CinemaTechnic’s lens repair clean room

Effective May 1, 2017 CinemaTechnic’s labor rate for Cine Lens and Motion Picture Film Camera repairs will be $150.- per hour.

Jobs currently in-progress and jobs estimated before May 1 will be billed at the previous rate of $125.- per hour.

The minimum labor charge will be 1 hour for professional Cine Lens inspection/repair. This covers inspection and written estimate for up to 5 prime lenses or up to 2 zoom lenses. This “estimate fee” is charged as a minimum fee if the repair work is not approved, and waived if the work is approved.

A non-binding verbal estimate based on a quick (10 minute) visual inspection is still available at no charge for supported professional Cine Lenses only:

Angenieux, ARRI, Canon CN-E, Cooke Optics,  Fujinon (cine lenses only), Leica (CW Sonderoptic), Lomo (Lumatech) Schneider, Sigma and Zeiss

Limited support is available for the following lenses:

Vintage Angenieux (pre-Optimo), Canon K35, Vintage Cooke (pre 1998)

Except for limited service for Leica-R lenses, we do not service still photo lenses or any autofocus lenses.

For ARRI and Moviecam Motion Picture Film Camera inspection/repair, the minimum charge is 1.5 hours labor for camera bodies. This covers inspection and checking the camera’s calibration settings. In many cases calibration adjustments such as Flange Focal Distance can be accomplished during the initial 1.5 hours.

The minimum charge for Film Cameras will be reduced to 1 hour for any subsequent service for the same camera body within two years of the initial service.

Inspection and adjustment/service of film magazines is at an extra charge depending on the number of magazines in the camera package.

Customers are advised to keep in mind that ARRI no longer supports film cameras (Moviecam merged with ARRI), so if parts are needed delays will be inevitable and costs cannot be estimated in advance.

The following motion picture film camera models are supported:

ARRI Arriflex:
16SR, 16SR-HS, 16SRII, 16SRII-E, 16SRII-HS, 16SR3, 16SR3-HS, 16SR3 Advanced / HS
35II-C, 35III-C, 35III, 435, 435 Advanced

Compact, Compact Mk. II, SL

Limited support: Arriflex 35BL-3, 35BL-4, 35BL-4s, 535, 535B

The following models are not supported: Aaton (any), Arriflex 16S, 16M, 16BL, ARRITECHNO, Bolex (any), CP (we can refer you to a CP tech), Mitchell

New CinemaTechnic Workshop – Phase 1 Completed

New CinemaTechnic Machine Shop and Prototyping Workshop February 2017.

As it always goes with remodeling, it took far longer than planned. But the first of my new workshop rooms was finally completed the last week of February.

The photo above was taken just after the completion of painting. It seemed so big before I put all my machines and workbenches in there.

This room will eventually be the Machine Shop and Prototyping Workshop. But for now I will be doing all my work out of this room. That will allow me to take my time to complete the Clean Room. I don’t want to rush that project.

Almost as if on cue the first jobs arrived just as I was getting the last of the tools into the room. I’m looking forward to a very busy March. A lot of long delayed projects will be getting the green lighted.

CinemaTechnic’s new workshop is located inside the new Hot Rod Cameras building in Burbank at 722 N. Mariposa St. I hope to see you there soon…

2017 Brings New Capabilities and Possibilities…

Dalsa Digital Cinema 4k lens set – serviced by CinemaTechnic

Now that 2016 has come to an end, I want to express my gratitude to all of my clients who have supported me in this critical first year as an independent California business.

Some of you are long-time clients that have been with me since the early days of CinemaTechnic, Inc. of Miami, as far back as 2001. I’m very glad to have you back.

Some of you are new clients and trusted me with your cine lenses. I’m pleased to get the job done for you, sometimes in shorter time frames than anyone else could provide, making sure your lenses were in top shape and ready when you needed them.

Know that I work on your lenses with as much care as if I owned them myself. I was once a cine camera and lens owner-operator and I know how much you invest in and depend on your equipment.

I was surprised by the amount of film camera service business I got in 2016. Although it is a small part of my business it still exceeded expectations.

Big things are in store for CinemaTechnic, LLC in 2017. We have outgrown our tiny Hollywood office and will be moving to a much larger space in Burbank in January 2017!

The new space opens up a lot of possibilities. I will be able to set up my precision metalworking and prototyping area, which will allow me to get involved in modification and development projects.

The photo above which shows a set of super-rare Dasla 4k Digital Cine Primes (rehoused Leica-R’s), one of my most interesting service jobs of 2016.

Thank you and best wishes for 2017!

#2017 #cinematechnic #jorgediazamador #dalsa #4k #leica #elmarit #summilux #lensporn #vintagecinelens #firstyear #thankyou

Super 16 / 2k Digital Conversion of Zeiss 10-100 T2

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 12-120 T2.4 Mark I Super 16

Update 11 July 2020

SUPER-16 CONVERSION FOR LENSES IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. This page is being maintained as a resource.

CinemaTechnic is pleased to announce the limited availability of Super 16 / 2k Digital Cine conversion for the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 1.8/10-100mm T2 and Cooke 9-50mm T2.5 We have found a source for a few new old stock conversion kits. These kits were thought to be unavailable since the late 2005 demise of Optex.

The Problem

Zeiss designed the f1.8 Vario-Sonnar 10:1 zoom for regular 16mm. These lenses were produced beginning in the early 1980’s.  That was many years before the Super 16 format became popular. This lens, produced in substantial numbers as a companion to the Arriflex 16SRII, won’t cover Super 16 or 2k digital.

The Solution

In order to cover Super 16 and 2k digital cine formats, the minimum image circle has to be increased by 20%. This can only be done with additional optics, which are positioned just behind the lens’ original rear element. These new optics follow the Barlow lens principle and increase the image circle diameter by 20%.

The lens above was converted with one of these new kits. The conversion optics are nicely integrated into the included PL mount.  This is a great value. PL mount option for the original Optex kits was $650.- just for the mount!

Your lens will receive a new group of high-quality multi-coated optics that will get mounted just behind the original rear relay optics. You can see the housing for these optics integrated in the black cone of the PL mount.

The conversion optics are made by a world-class  company specializing in optics for scientific research an industry. They are the original designers for the Optex Super 16 conversion kits. They also designed Optex’s renowned line of Super 16 prime lenses. You can be assured that your lens will be converted without compromise, maintaining the original optical quality the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom is known for.

After conversion, the lens becomes a 12-120mm T2.4 and covers Super 16 at all focal lengths and focus distances greater than 5 feet. The increased coverage is important for 2k shooters as it ensures coverage of all 2k windowed modes on Super 35 sized sensors. Also sensors such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera which has a sensor slightly larger than Super 16  film, are covered.

Pricing and availability

Cost for the conversion is (discontinued) including PL mount, standard installation and calibration at our facility in Hollywood, CA.

There are only a handful of these new conversion kits remaining. Get yours before they’re all gone… SORRY THEY ARE GONE NOW

NOTE: In response to questions from many 2k digital users: The Zeiss 10-100mm T2 is the only 16mm lens that can currently be converted to Super 16. The conversion for the Cooke 9-50mm T2.5 is no longer available (one of my customers got the last one years ago).

There are no other conversions available now or in the past.

UPDATED 2020-07-11

New Used Lens Inventory 2k / 4k / 6k – Updated Pricing

Frustrated by the hunt for good quality used cine lenses for your digital cine 2k 4k or 6k camera? Check out our used cine lens page new inventory and updated pricing.

We have some lenses available that are rarely available on the used market, such as the Optex/Canon L 300mm T2.8, the Canon 11-165mm T2.5 and the Cooke S4 6.0mm 9.5mm and 12mm. Also available Zeiss Distagon 9.5mm T1.3, Zeiss Mutar 0.6x “Aspheron” Wide Angle Attachment  and Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 11-110mm T2.2 Mk.3.


All lenses are inspected prior to sale, serviced as needed, and focus adjustments are covered for the first 180 days.